February 26, 2018

SHOPBOP SALE!


 My favorite sale  EVER is here! This happens twice every year, once in the fall and once in the spring and it is the PERFECT time to stock up on goodies for the season ahead.  

Here are a few of my favorites: 



one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine  

*seven is my jumpsuit from our buying trip earlier this month (seen here)*


ALSO LOVING: 




I have these from two years ago and actually just bought a second pair at the end of the season last year because I wore them SO often. 

(as seen on a million bloggers right now) 

These Tulle Bow Pumps (amazing for a bride especially) 













February 13, 2018

Day in the life: What does it look like on buying trips? Commonly asked questions

Last week I was in Atlanta with my mom on a buying trip for our boutique, No. 14.  These trips are my absolute favorite part of my job.  It is so much fun to see the upcoming goodies that we will be bringing into No. 14 and it's an added bonus that its like a scheduled girls trip with my mom every three months.  Every time I go on these trips, I get a bunch of questions from followers and clients of No.14 curious about our process on these trips & answered the most common questions below:

Do you make a list of what you're looking for before you go? How do you know what to look for? 
Before I leave, I schedule appointments with each brand to make sure all of my bases are covered.  I have to go into a buying trip feeling organized- otherwise I'll be overwhelmed and feel like I'm missing something.  I also request look books or line sheets from a lot of my brands before we go (line sheets are documents with pictures of every piece of the delivery & include price/sizing/fabric etc). I do this so I can look at them on the plane ride down and get a grasp at trends.  I'll also circle my favorite pieces to make sure that they get placed onto my order and I'm not overlooking them!

Do you actually love everything you order? Do you ever order things that you hate or that don't sell? 
1. We never order things that we do not like, however sometimes we receive shipments and all look at each other like...did we order this?  It happens once every few months or so! Usually when that happens, we request a return authorization from the vendor because the style is in perfect condition so they would be able to sell it to another store.  

2.  There are definitely things that we look at and say 'this is really cute, maybe not for my style/my body, but I could totally see a few of our girls looking adorable in this'  

3. Yes, of course we have things that don't do well.  I'd say if a style isn't doing well, a good 70% of the reasoning is because of the garment fitting poorly.  Sometimes things just don't work and that's the long and the short of it.  Most of the time, we will put the item on sale and if it doesn't sell from there, we will donate it!

Do you buy for your style or for your clients'? 
Both! I like to think that I have the same style as my clients because we all end up loving the same clothing.  Like I said above, there are definitely things we purchase that I know won't end up in my closet, but that doesn't mean I don't think they're really cute.  But, I also 1000% order some things selfishly, especially when it comes to events like weddings etc.  I am always on the hunt for a killer jumpsuit or dress for the next wedding I'm attending.  Also, if you happened to have been in No.14 while I was engaged- the entire store was white because I was shopping as the bride & not the guest #guilty. 

How do you know how much to buy? 
Being completely candid, we don't.  At this point, we know our client through and through so when something is REALLY good, we order more because we want to meet the demand.  As far as how many styles to order- we just order what we like and what our client likes.  We try to minimize how much 'sameness' we take in and keep it diverse. For instance, summer deliveries are usually chock full of blue & white striped pieces, which we love! But, we try to be a little choosey with those pieces so that our entire store isn't a repeat of blue & white striped dresses.  We almost never buy 'enough' when we are on trips.  I am always making orders via linesheets between shows because we love to bring new stuff to our store daily.

Do you take the clothing home from buying trips? 
Nope! Showrooms are filled with samples only. There is no option to purchase on the spot and take home (what would be referred to as 'cash & carry').

How soon after a buying trip do you receive the product? 
This varies for every brand.  We have brands that mostly show 'immediate' deliveries at shows, meaning what we buy on that trip will ship to us from the week we made the buy, to 1-3 months after.  Then, we have other brands that require orders wayyy in advance.  For instance,  last week when we were there, we wrote some orders that will be shipping in September.  Each brand is different!

Do you deal directly with vendors or is there a middleman? 
Both! Some vendors prefer to sell their own product at shows while others sell through a multi-brand showroom. There are pros and cons to both! With showrooms, it's great to be able to tackle several brands in one appointment.  It is also fun to see several of your shipments in one room because sometimes things make unexpected pairings like one brand's shorts matching with another brand's top.  Dealing directly with the vendor can be nice because there is no middleman- when you have damages or are wondering about in-stock product, there is no wait time.  They have that information right in front of them so response time is usually quicker.  

What is a rep? What do they do for you?
A rep is someone who works for a brand or showroom and is our contact for that company. They input my orders, inform me of style drops/delivery changes,  assist me with any damaged merchandise we receive -and the list goes on and on.  I feel like I'm in touch with my reps allll the time- they're like my girlfriends that I wish I could just sit down  & get wine with.  A lot of Tuesday mornings spent discussing the bachelor over email before chatting business.

How do you keep track of all of this? 
Girl, good question, I am still trying to figure out the best way possible! I think I have finally figured out what works for me after trying several different ways to 'file' our orders.  The majority of my brands do electronic ordering, so when we order, they send us an email with the purchase order (includes pictures) and I save that PO to my dropbox.   I have a dropbox that is sorted by year, then by month so I can go into my files each month & make sure that I have received everything I was expecting and to follow up with brands that I have not gotten shipments from yet.  On the opposing side of that- I have brands that still physically handwrite POs 'the old fashioned way' and hand it over to me.  It looks like gibberish with style numbers and prices that mean nothing to me.  I spend the next few weeks pestering my reps to send me pictures so that I can have an electronic document and I add it to my dropbox and plan accordingly.  I usually need 2-3 entire days at my desk after a buying trip to make sure everything is organized.

How do you find the brands you carry?  Do you find new brands a lot? 
Believe it or not, we have only kept ONE brand on our floor since we opened and that's BB Dakota because they are an unbelievable brand to work with and they have their sh** together. Other than that we've seen a bunch of brands come and go which is good because it shows growth and the evolution of our customer!  I have found most of our brands via showroom rep's recommendations.  Your reps become your confidants and want to help you out. They know my store so when they get new brands to their showroom, they send me look books and help me sift through and pick things that would work for us!

What makes you realize a brand is no longer for you? 
There are a few things that have caused us to stop carrying brands.  
-A lot of the time, the brand will get a new designer and their aesthetic will totally change or their pricing will go up.

-Poor customer service.  Nothing drives me crazy more than terrible customer service and some brands that we've carried are so difficult to deal with that we just stop our orders with them and choose to add new product from other vendors that we enjoy working with

-Price.  This one is usually a real bummer.  We pride ourselves in being 'attainable affordable' and keeping our prices in the sweet spot average between $68-$108.  We've had a few higher priced brands raise their prices which lead us to stop carrying them to keep our prices attainable.

-Sizing/quality issues. We've had a few instances where product comes in and it is nothing like the samples we saw at a trade show.  The quality is much worse and it looks inexpensive.  We've also had problems with brands and their sizing being really off from the norm.  People are very particular about sizing ESPECIALLY when they have to go up a size. 


I feel like these trips are really overwhelming- are you exhausted at the end of it?
Yes! They're really tiring but honestly, it is my favorite part of my job so I don't mind it at all.  We definitely go have a nice dinner & a glass of wine at the end of the day ;) 


My Favorite Market Outfit: 


This is my striped romper that sold out really quickly at No.14 the day I wore it can also shop it here. ( I think it runs a bit big- I took an XS)  I wore it with a simple denim jacket and loafers I also just got these pink sneakers that I love.